FARMERS hesitant of trying out Clearfield oilseed rape varieties, will have some positive results from this year’s harvest to make them change their mind.

The general mind-set is that such varieties are still thought to be lower than non-Clearfield ones, but not so with more modern types, according to Neil Groom, the technical director for Grainseed.

“That may have been the case in the early days of development but no more. If growers want all the advantages of the Clearfield system plus yield, then they should choose Grainseed’s new Clearfield variety, Es Aquarel CL,” he argued.

He said two independent NIAB/TAG trials this year have been just reported ‘hot off the combine’ and this was the top yielding Clearfield variety.

“In Norfolk it yielded 4.3 t/ha, or 104% of the site mean and this was the highest yielding Clearfield variety on the site where the range for CL varieties was 3.86 t/ha to 4.3t/ha.

“The yield benefit of 0.44 t/ha for Es Aquarel CL will make a significant impact to profits. Other rape varieties on the same site yielded 4.18 t/ha, showing that Clearfield varieties are no longer lagging behind in terms of yield,” he pointed out.

Clearfield’s unique system for oilseed rape combines hybrid varieties with robust BASF herbicides for effective weed control. But, he pointed out, they have been bred using conventional breeding techniques to tolerate Clearfield herbicides, such as Cleranda and Cleravo (a non-metazachlor option) post-emergence.

“This means growers can use Clearfield as a management tool, bringing fields back into rotation and allowing rape to be grown profitably where it would have been difficult or impossible to grow using any other system.” he added.